Pristina, 30th November 2016 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) reacts to current practice of closing court sessions through which it is forbidden, limited and censured freedom of expression, freedom of media, civil society and public to be informed and to inform about biggest court cases that comprise public interest.
KLI estimates that it is unacceptable the access of judges of the Basic Court in Pristina for total closure of case “Mekaj” and closure of one the biggest cases “Stenta” that constitute the public interest.
KLI requests to respect constitutional and legal obligations for the progress of court processes for all parties in procedure, including the information of public and media under this legal framework.
However, KLI rejects unsustainable and unfounded reasons in constitutional and laws to close the court processes for public and media due to the whims of any judge.
For KLI the justifications for conditions absence of halls are unserious and unacceptable. KLI requests ensuring legal conditions for providing an independent, righteous, impartial, professional and accessible process for the public and media. This is the only way to guaranty all these constitutional requirements, legal based on international standards and practices, to offer fair trial, in which public trust has extraordinary importance. Legitimism of justice may happen only when public trust the trials that are separated from the judges, in transparent juridical processes, transparence that is missing on these cases.
KLI makes it clear that monitoring and publishing of juridical processes by media and public it is an inalienable right which enters within the right of opinion freedom and expression – including here and “Freedom that accepts and imparts information and ideas for any medium and without taking limits consideration”. (Article 19 of Universal Declaration of the Human Rights year 1948), applicable in the Republic of Kosovo according to article 22 of Constitution. This right is one of the basic political and civil rights, which is guaranteed almost with all the instruments of human rights, as European Convent for human rights and freedom and international Convent for civilian and politic rights.
KLI expresses disappointment with this access and mentality of some judges, which should be an example of implementation of legal provisions to increase transparency and not the same to try to stop, limit, and censor freedom of media about informing public for the important trial processes.
These actions of those judges to close the court sessions for the public and media present a nonsense of its kind, that in this time, where mainly on the institution of justice, addressed rough criticism by local and international organization for the lack of transparency and responsibility.
KLI reminds that citizens of the Republic of Kosovo continue to remain isolated and without a European perspective thanks to this mentality, which attempts to prevent and censure media and civil society, through which ensures the transparency and accountability of public institution, in this case even the transparency for important court processes.
KLI suggests the judges of these cases and urges them to re-examine their decisions to correct them and to allow the access of public and media as far as the law framework allows.